Sermons

Summary: The April 2014 edition of Reader’s Digest contains a story (written by Lia Grainger) about a group of people who suddenly became fabulously rich. It parallels what will happen to us at the resurrection when we enter New Jerusalem!

THE TOWN OF OVERNIGHT MILLIONAIRES

1 Tim. 6:9

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. A crook mistakenly made a counterfeit $8 bill instead of a $10 bill. He decided to try it out anyway. He went to the teller at the local bank and asked for change. The teller looked at the $8 bill and gave the crook two $4 bills as change.

2. My friend has a bad habit of overdrawing her bank account. One day before we went shopping, I complained about my lack of funds and lamented, “Guess I’ll use plastic.” Unconcerned, she whipped out her checkbook: “I’m using rubber.”

3. LATE TO THE GAS STATION

a. Pulling into my service station 45 minutes late one morning, I shouted to the customers, "I’ll turn the pumps on right away!"

b. What I didn’t know was that the night crew had left them on all night. By the time I got to the office, most of the cars had filled up and driven off.

c. Only one customer stayed to pay. My heart sank. Then the customer pulled a wad of cash from his pocket and handed it to me.

d. "We kept passing the money to the last guy," he said. "We figured you’d get here sooner or later." [That restores your faith in humanity!]

B. TEXT

“A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished” Prov. 28:20.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Mk. 10:25.

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11.

“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” 1 Tim. 6:9.

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” Rev. 3:17.

C. THESIS

1. The April 2014 edition of Reader’s Digest contains a story (written by Lia Grainger) I want to touch on tonight. It's about a group of people who suddenly became fabulously rich.

2. The title of tonight's message is, "The Town of Overnight Millionaires."

I. THE COMING OF SUDDEN WEALTH

A. A RECENT OCCURANCE

1. The farming village of Sodeto sits perched atop a dusty outcropping of land in northeastern Spain. It has about 240 residents, who live in identical stone houses and barns. It is a place of poor farmland that was underpopulated.

2. Therefore, in 1950, dictator Francisco Franco offered to give peasants a house, a piece of property and a few farm animals if he/she would take up the trade of farming in the poor areas. It was hard going.

3. For the first four years, only seven families worked the land. Eventually more than 65 families settled in the town. But it was always poor.

4. Then, on December 22, 2011, at 9:57 AM, the entire population of Sodeto became winners of the biggest lottery in the world, El Gordo ("The Fat One").

5. Everyone in Sodeto held a portion of the winning number. The prize money was a combined 720 million Euros.

6. What happens when an entire debt-written farming community suddenly becomes incredibly wealthy? In this isolated case, very little.

7. Most of the families were highly indebted before the win, so that one thing that quickly disappeared were all the mortgages.

8. There are no overt signs of wealth in the town today, but if you peeked in the windows of their homes, you would see enormous flat-screen TVs and sleek marble countertops that appear brand new.

9. Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that nobody stopped working -- as farmers, truck drivers, and housewives. As one resident put it, "What we won was peace of mind."

10. Now I’m not encouraging buying lottery tickets. It’s a poor man’s dream, but a false one. Statistically, no one here will ever win a lottery; you’ll simply be throwing away your money & become guilty of bad stewardship before God.

11. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning, but do you really think you will be? No!

B. A REMARKABLE PARALLEL

1. This story caught my attention because it parallels what is going to happen to each one of us. You see, when we accepted Christ, we purchased the winning ticket in God's great lottery.

2. We haven't become instant winners, because there's a delay in the announcement of who the winners are, but you can be sure that God's Son is the winner, and all those who are with Him get portions of the winnings!

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